Many instructors use an online calendar to keep track of course-related events: class times, office hours, guest speakers, and more. Some go much farther, organizing the course syllabus as a calendar with links to readings and assignments, and then sharing it with students.

At Notre Dame

  • Google Calendar – use it for yourself or share it with a Google Group for a class — you decide how public it is
  • Sakai Schedule tool – add directly or from other tools (Sign-Up, Assignments, Tests & Quizzes, etc.)

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ND blogs page
Blog systems like WordPress, originally used only for posting and commenting, are now responsible for all kinds of beautiful websites. In teaching & learning, blogs are often used for reflection, journaling, creative writing, and collaboration — and WordPress makes a great platform for a public-facing course website.

At Notre Dame

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[updated August 2016]

Learning management system

sakai logoLearning Management System (LMS) provides a set of tools that help a faculty member create a secure web site for a class. The instructor provides the content and the system supplies structure, interactivity, and management. Key tools include

  1. Gradebook (students only see their own grades),
  2. Tests and Quizzes (incl. anonymous surveys), and
  3. Assignments (distribute and collect work online).

Here are a few possibilities for teaching and learning:

  • Use the quiz tool for pre-class reading checks.
  • In a large class, use the grade book tool to post exam scores.
  • Use the lessons tool to organize your course syllabus, and
  • Use a discussion to solicit potential test items from students.

Other names for an LMS are Course Management System (CMS) or Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). Notre Dame uses Sakai; other systems include Blackboard, Canvas, BrightSpace (Desire2Learn), and Moodle.

Your textbook may also offer a proprietary LMS or “homework system” that may provide discipline-specific benefits. Examples include language learning and classes that require evaluation of mathematical formulas.

At Notre Dame

Learn More

[updated June 2015]

Class email list

Listserv screen
Each semester Notre Dame uses the Listserv system to automatically create and update an email list for every section of every course. This is a ready-made alternative to maintaining your own list in an email program. You can even request that messages to a list be archived on a web page; this is a convenient way to access old announcements.
listserv button

Find your class in the Online Photo system and click the Listserv button. Save the address in your email program if you don’t want to open Online Photo every time you have to send a message.

At Notre Dame

Alternatives to ListServ at Notre Dame

  1. Google Groups – create a group for your class, then use it to share a Google Calendar, as well as files in Google Drive.
  2. Sakai Email Archive tool – create a group address to use from your regular email program; Sakai archives the messages in your course site.
  3. Sakai Announcements tool – post messages in your course site; students can elect to view them there or receive them as email.
  4. Sakai Email tool – send a message from your course site to all students or specific individuals; you can also select by role, section, or group.

[updated June 2015]